Day: September 4th, 2007

All you need is…

Tuesday, September 4th, 2007 | All Things, Arts, Events

The Robert Indiana LOVE sculpture, one of the most celebrated works of the Pop Art movement, originated as a MoMA-commissioned Christmas card and was made forever famous by 320 million U.S. postage stamps. Indiana, however, neglected to obtain a copyright for his popular image, and this cultural icon has since been appropriateed extensively throughout the art world and in media, with and without the artist’s approval (or paid consent).

Other editions of this famous sculpture have found their home around the world — including in Vancouver, Bilbao, Tokyo, Jerusalem, Singapore, Vegas, Philadelphia, New Orleans and Indianapolis — where the sentiment has been translated into Spanish, Chinese and Hebrew. Also in a multitude of colors: while the edition on New York City’s Sixth Avenue is of Indiana’s most commonly rendered red and blue, other colored editions include blue and green and red, white and blue.

Tonight, I detoured home through midtown with my canvas sack bursting with freshly-harvested organic vegetables to witness “the first ever experience,” a gathering of international artists whose mission is to “share the LOVE globally, act locally.”

UK photographer Suzannah Pettigrew, best known for her concert photos of such music artists as De Le Soul and Timbaland, was in town to capture the spirit of the scene as it unfolded. Using a fixed tripod, Pettigrew took one photograph every minute for one full hour, as random people gathered around the LOVE sculpture — some aware of the project in progress, most not. The photos were later compiled and edited into a 4-minute slideshow set to music.

LOVE sculpture

LOVE photographers

LOVE sculpture

The stunt reminded me of the Complacent Nation exploits which foster spontaneous (i.e, permit-less) artistic expression in public spaces – albeit on a much smaller scale. And unlike those wildly chaotic, grassroots undertakings, this event appeared to have the backing of corporate sponsorship: a list-regulated afterparty at nearby Amalia – hey, weren’t we just there? — hosted by Christiania vodka.

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